Is love a feeling or a commitment?
Imagine my surprise a while ago when I was reading a discussion about the Lord of the Rings books, and suddenly the topic veered into the nature of love and marital fidelity (give it a minute to load before you start scrolling around that page, because it should jump to about halfway down automatically). I think it's quite awesome to read that post and the two replies underneath it, because in my opinion it illuminates the stark contrast in thinking between people who will succeed at marriage, and those who will fail.
The initial post is rich with empathy for those that fail in their relationship:
People change. Feelings change. Circumstances change. To promise to love someone forever is not a realistic promise.
It's a common definition of love – something you feel, something you might stop feeling if your heart were to change. It's a vision of love as a feather that can be blown by the wind, always landing softly. It's cute, and a lot of people believe it... probably because Hollywood has foisted it upon us many times in many different movies and TV shows.
It's a flighty definition of love that is very convenient for the one taking flight.
However, that is countered by someone else who outlined a simple but powerful change in thinking:
Some of us believe that love is an action, not an emotion. As such, we don't necessarily believe such things are impossible to achieve.
That's the awesomeness, right there. You want to know how to make your marriage last? That's it. Stop thinking that love is that feeling of butterflies in your tummy. Stop thinking that love is that giddy feeling of attraction. Start thinking that love is about respect, commitment, loyalty, and the deliberate choice to move past negative emotions that might pull things apart. Love is not about fair weather relationships. It's about weathering storms together.